• Published 4th Oct 2016
  • 14,474 Views, 1,273 Comments

Making Family - Cirrus Sky



You can find a home, but sometimes you have to make a family. Sunset is working on that.

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Palace

After such an emotional time they decided to have a rest in the park. The surroundings were beautiful and Sunset had happy stories to tell, of playing there with her mother and exploring before she put her life focus onto becoming an alicorn.

“We loved the park, Mom was an earth pony so she always liked to walk on the grass and speak to the trees.” Sunset lay in the grass, sat between her parents.

“That sounds lovely.” Celestia was glad to see Sunset was amongst her happy memories. It had been painful to see her so upset.

Turning over, Sunset looked up at the palace. The towering structure was gleaming in the sunshine, a beacon over the city. She had lived there for years of her life, it was a strange thought. There was the place she grew up, but she had no real love for the palace. Home was a townhouse the other side of the portal.

“Do you want to visit the palace?” Celestia asked, she had spotted Sunset's gaze lingering on the structure. “We do have an open invitation.”

“I do, sort of? It was where I lived and I left a lot of my things there.” Sunset looked at the towers and then across to where the gate was, hidden behind a curve in the wall. “I do want to show you everything.”

“With an invitation from the Princess herself, we should go.” Discord stood up and stretched, his chaos magic making it a very stretchy stretch, making Celestia and Sunset laugh. His limbs sprang back with a boing noise. “That hit the spot.” He waggled his eyebrows. “Shall we ladies?”

-*-

At the palace gate the guards didn't stop her, or clamour for her arrest. So Sunset marked it up as a positive for the day. One or two could have been in the service when she lived at the palace, but the glamour on their armour meant it was hard to tell at a glance. Nopony seemed to be overtly displeased to see her.

Her Mom was busy admiring the architecture of the palace and her Dad was enchanted by her as they walked in, Sunset didn't want to disturb them with her guilt over past behaviour. Sunset kept her head low, there would be staff at the palace, staff she had treated terribly. Her only hope had been Twilight's confession that she too had not been a very nice pony during her own time there.

Knowing somepony had come back and made amends, Sunset hoped the older staff would give her the same chance. The guards at the palace door allowed her entry, one or two gave her Mom a quizzical look but let them pass.

“Sunset Shimmer.” A voice that was very familiar said, the pony was further down the hallway. A unicorn that had a style to her mane and glasses that Celestia easily placed

“Raven.” Sunset said, she had grown used to the school secretary, seeing the unicorn in the palace brought back the memories of a pony often tasked with dealing with a bratty unicorn prodigy. “I, I'm back.”

“So I see.” The mare trotted over and looked Sunset up and down, circling her once. “You're taking care of yourself?”

“Uh, yes. Mom makes sure of it.” Sunset half pointed at Celestia with a hoof, unsure of this inspection she was subject to. “Um, now you're here though... IwanttosayI'msorryforhowterribleIwas!” Sunset blurted all the words out together, to make sure she said them.

A smile broke out on Raven's face when she realised what the amber unicorn had said. “I had heard from Twilight that you had made some changes, Sunset, it is wonderful to see them.” The mare caught Sunset in a hug. One Sunset quickly returned.

For a moment the amber unicorn was lost in memories of another time, when a little lonely pony was taken into the palace by an almost unreal Princess. Where a unicorn mare with a brown mane and a friendly face helped her when she got lost and would daily check up on her (something the princess sometimes didn't think to do).

“I've come to visit today.” Sunset said as they parted. She was happy that this first meeting had gone so well. “I, uh, wanted to collect some of my things. Would you know where they are stored?”

The look of disbelief on Raven's face was mirrored by Sunset when the older unicorn spoke. “Sunset, your room is just as you left it.”

-*-

Today had been an emotional roller-coaster and it was not even near over yet. Raven had led the little family through the palace to Sunset's old room. A room, so far as the palace staff were concerned, was still simply Sunset's room. For the former exile, it was touching.

On the way through the palace, a few of the longer serving aides had nodded to Sunset, a greeting she returned, to their pleasant surprise. More than one carried on with a smile. Even Kibitz, Celestia's sometimes grumpy seneschal was smiling under his moustache.

“It still all the same?” Sunset asked when they came to a stop in front of the door to her room.

“Staff aired and dusted the room, but apart from tidying a few of the spilled items, the room no different to when you left.” Raven's crimson magic turned the handle and opened the door.

Sunset blinked, looking in at the luxurious space the princess had set aside for her.

Nostalgia tugged a little at her heart, but there was no feelings of home for this space. She stepped in, parents behind her. Looking around, there was the bed, her bookcases, the desk she spent long nights studying. Truly, the only thing she was glad to see was the chest at the end of the bed. A box that held some things even the brat she had been valued.

“So, this was my room.” Sunset said to Celestia and Discord, kicking at the carpet.

“Nice digs.” Discord whistled. He looked over the room, truly palatial. No stranger to luxury and old buildings, this was pretty much the grandest place he had been.

“This is the first time I've had anyone visit.” Sunset wasn't sure how to feel now. In this space, memories of her rotten attitude and behaviour clung to everything.

“What do these texts cover?” Celestia could tell Sunset was feeling bad. A distraction could help the girl move past the upsetting memories.

“Ooo, Magic Books!” Discord hurried over to look. “Alchemy!” He cheered and reached down a huge tome, transforming two limbs to mechanical ones with a wink to Sunset.

As Celestia hoped, Sunset began to talk about her education at the palace.

Their quiet conversation was interrupted by the sound of hooves in the hallway. Sunset looked to the door in time to see a dark blue alicorn enter. “Princess Luna.” Sunset greeted the alicorn.

“Well met Sunset Shimmer, honoured guests.” Princess Luna bowed her head to the ponies in the unicorn's old room. It tickled her no end to see a pony who was the image of the sister she grew up with. “I had hoped to catch you today. I heard from Sister about yesterday.”

“I'm not going to apologise for anything I said.” Celestia said quickly, not shying away from her confrontation with her counterpart the day before.

“Of course not. I was not expecting it” Princess Luna said lightly, a spark of mischief in her tone. “I believe my sister needed a good talking to. She oft-times forgets that ponies can have emotions that are not all sunshine and smiles.”

“I can agree to that.” Sunset replied. Looking at the princess, she caught a glimpse of a closed box set on the floor beside her.

“Curious, my little pony?” Princess Luna's words were teasing and she stepped across to conceal it.

“Just a little.” Sunset felt better now, much less doleful, whatever the Princess had brought had to be interesting. “You wouldn't have brought it with you us if it wasn't for us.”

“True, as it happens I saw you entering the castle and recalled that there were some items in the store rooms that are rightfully yours.” Princess Luna brought the box to Sunset with her magic. Holding it closed a moment. “I think you would be better to open this once you are home, young Sunset. Sometimes the past can be painful, even those times that were happy.” Princess Luna spoke with experience. “These are yours by right, but it was deemed better to put them away until you came of age.”

Sunset realised that these had to have been Sunshimmer's possessions, things from the cosy little house in the city that she had shared with her mother. When Sunset had been taken in by the foal's home and then a foster family there was nowhere to put the things she had inherited. Items a grown pony would need, not a grieving child.

For a while she had not considered them, never thinking about those things wrapped up with such a painful memory. But all the music and books Luna had kept from her father's possessions, the little reminders Celestia had in her own home; Sunset had begun to dearly miss some memento of her birth mother.

“Okay. I'll bring it home with me.” The way Princess Luna had said it, she was serious and Sunset respected the Princess. If her life and story had been much like her Aunt Luna, the Princess would know well of bittersweet memories. As curious as she was about her mother's things, that would be another upsetting memory to add to the day.

“Thank you, Sunset Shimmer.”

Princess Luna left them after a little while of talking of less serious subjects. Curiosity over Sunset's new home, the wonders of science and innovation from a world reliant on technology and the creative arts were things the princess was eager to speak about. Sunset was glad that her Mom and Dad were both very knowledgeable, some of Luna's questions were a little beyond even her.

-*-

Sunset watched the city grow smaller as the train travelled along the track. “Are you alright sweetheart?” Celestia asked.

“I'm glad that I visited her.” Sunset said. “I can visit again.” She shifted to lean against Celestia. “I think I was scared to visit for a first time. When I was growing up here I tried not to even look towards the cemetery. Then when I ran away, it was part of all my fear of this place.”

“You know you can visit whenever you want to?” Celestia had to ask, she wanted Sunset to know that she would never stand between her and Equestria.

“I do now.” Sunset smiled slightly, nuzzling her mother, enjoying the sensation of the gesture. “Thank you. I'll always come home.”

Discord let out an almighty snore, he had fallen asleep from the gentle motion of the train, it turned the moment rather comical. Sunset and Celestia shared a smile and settled down for the journey back.

Author's Note:

Maybe one more chapter until they go home. I was thinking of making it Vignettes style to cover little scenes instead of trying to line it all into chapters. Celestia has to have a flying lesson. Did Luna like the farm? What happens if the Equestrian Chrysalis tries to replace her counterpart? :pinkiegasp:
Fun short scenes over emotional feel hard chapters. Just for the next update.